Lebanon

Clashes in Lebanon Near Mosque

Second day of fight has left 16 soldiers dead

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Lebanese army units battled followers of a hard-line Sunni cleric holed up in a mosque complex in a southern port city on Monday, the second day of fighting that has left at least 16 soldiers dead, the military said.

The clashes in Sidon, Lebanon's third-largest city 25 miles south of Beirut, are the latest bout of violence in Lebanon linked to the conflict in neighboring Syria.

They are the bloodiest yet involving the army — at least two of those killed are officers. The Lebanese media has depicted the clashes as a test for the state in containing armed groups that have taken up the cause of the warring sides in Syria. Lebanon's sectarian makeup mirrors that of Syria, its smaller neighbor.